Back home from Switzerland

August 26, 2008 | 12 comments

Wow. This has been a full two weeks with my family, my practice, and learning about another part of the world.

As I type this, I’m flying over the Atlantic Ocean thinking about all the spiritual lessons learned, the progress to be grateful for, the ever-increasing unity and harmony in my family, and the new opportunities that lie ahead.

I never go on vacation, truly, in the traditional definition of the word. I do not see my life as divided into compartments, into fun, time-off, and work. Work for me has never been “work,” as many people think of work in terms of drudgery, duty and obligation. Work for me is fun.

The full-time practice of Christian Science is pure joy. It’s all about experiencing more and more of God’s goodness and healing power everyday. It’s not a 9-5 job, or a position lorded over by an uncaring boss and an unforgiving set of rules. It’s a way of life. It’s a spiritual discipline that infiltrates the actions, words, and conduct of those who practice its laws.

But the full-time practice also requires time devoted to one’s patients, and that’s why occasional time-outs, or at least, partial time-outs, called vacations, are needed to be sure I spend adequate time with my wife and children.

This last trip to Switzerland was a success on all fronts. For 15 consecutive days, the four of us were together 24 hours a day, and we had a wonderful time. Because of traveling demands, we each had to express patience, understanding, care and attention to each other in deeper ways than living independently in the fast lane back home often requires, and we came out better for it.

Yesterday, the tour guide commented to our travel group of 40 that this was the first time she didn’t take someone to a doctor on this long of a trip. She was amazed. Typically, 3-4 people end up sick and needing a doctor, she reported.

I thought back to the first day when she was laying down the rules for us to abide by. One expectation she outlined was that if anyone exhibited any kind of health problem, she wanted them to think about going to a doctor for immediate treatment. She didn’t want any contagious disease spreading rapidly through the bus. She made a big deal about this. Not because she was paranoid. She wasn’t. She was striving to prevent a repeat of bad past experiences, and she only knew a stringent medical model to follow.

Curiously, the first 3 days of travel were a bit chilly and rainy. Travelers started coughing, including one of our children. It got rather out of hand, and in our case, I feared being told we had to go to a local doctor.

That evening, to bring the health problems to a close, my family prayed together for our own health, and for the protection of the whole bus load of people.

We affirmed that we all lived in an atmosphere of divine Love where health prevailed, and that only goodness was circulating in that vehicle. We knew that everyone expressed a perfect God, which included perfect health, and that divine law kept everyone healthy regardless of whether it was rainy or not. The material view of weather didn’t matter. Only the spiritual truth about weather had an impact.

Looking back, the coughing stopped the next day or so, and that was the end of any evidence of health problems, that I was aware of. I’m not sure I heard a single cough on the whole bus for 12 days after that. And, as the guide reported, there were no medical issues the entire trip. Hooray! And thanks to God’s ever-present care.

Weather is always a concern when traveling in Switzerland and expecting to see the Alps, for it rains frequently, which means view-obstructing clouds! Anticipating this fear beforehand, I did some preemptive prayer work to know that the views we sought were spiritual ones, and always clear and unobstructed. There would be no mental clouds of fear or doubt in the way of us seeing the great vistas of Truth that lay before us in the land called Switzerland. I did not worry about rain and clouds, or fear bad weather. I knew it rained in Switzerland, and expected it to rain, but also expected to be rewarded for trusting in God’s wise planning and disposition of events as we proceeded with the tour. And that was the case.

It was quite amazing to witness…but the day of our drive to the base of the Matterhorn was terribly stormy. The next day, when we rode the gondola to the top, all clouds evaporated and the view was spectacular. Our bus driver said it was the clearest view he had seen in the five years he had been driving that route. He went to the peak with us.

And our stop at Jungfrau, advertised as the “Top of Europe,” was equally as impressive. Cloudy weather sandwiched our arrival and departure, but the day of our train ride to the summit, the sky cleared and the view was jaw-dropping. Our guide said she had never seen a clear day like that in the 2 years she had been taking groups to the top.

And the list of blessings goes on.

I’m happy to be headed home now. I look forward to getting back into the full swing of the practice and preparing the teens for school.

With Jenna in her senior year, we have college to think about. Oh boy! Can’t wait for the tuition bills…but, I consider them already paid. God is the provider, and the provision is in place before there is a perceived need. We are going to listen carefully for God’s plan.

I’m posting a few random pictures below that we thought were particularly beautiful. I am not an experienced photographer by any means, but had a lot of fun clicking away. My wife has the better camera, and much more experience at snapping the picturesque shots, so the better pictures you see likely were taken by her. But I get a good one in now and then…


Wooden bridge across river in Lucerne

12 thoughts on “Back home from Switzerland”

  1. I read each day of your trip and your posting stories and photos are SO awesome. Last April I ran London Marathon and then my wife and I flew to Italy (Pisa and Florence) for a week. I spend alot of time on spiritual thought on recovering from marathon while we walked around inside and outside of ancient buildings… this is my four European trips since 2000 and I had much less access to internet than previous trip. it is first time I used email mostly from my own cell phone (I have hearing impaired).

    how did you get in internet, especially with posting photos?

    welcome back… I do still love to read your Spiritview.

    thank you.

  2. Needed the thoughts on work being a joy, am a fledgling prac and wondering if I can really do a job that doesn’t ever stop. With this work it is a way of life a way of thinking, so in a sense i just needed a nudge to remember it is a joy, not a drudge. Very timely, thanks.

  3. Your pictures have been amazing….the journey so enjoyable to read about. Thank you for your thoughts on work and God’s consistent provision.

  4. I loved reading about all the spiritual insights you gained on this journey, Evan – thanks for your joyful sharing! And the pictures are awesome.

  5. I so enjoyed your pictures and spiritual insights on all aspects of this trip. A great reminder that we can all view every situation spiritually and what a blessing it brings to all.

  6. Hi Willy,

    Sounds like you have adventures of your own to share! It’s easy to connect with the Internet in Switzerland. Believe it or not, the country has 99% cell phone coverage. Even amongst all those Alps you can get cell reception everywhere. Even in tunnels your cell phone works. It’s amazing, but it’s the way the Swiss do things. They do a complete job.

  7. What a wonderful tour and your spiritual awarness makes my appreciation of your life style and class leadership.

    Every day has been enlightening and I have found a new beginng by acknowledging your keeping us informed. What a nice way to get a free and wonderful ride and helping us to maintain our family values.

    Thanks much!

  8. Evan: I’m having difficulty finding the right words to express my gratitude for being able to spiritually travel through Switzerland with you and your family. My husband had the privilege of working/living in Germany for 2 years which offered us the opportunity to travel Europe every week-end and during vacation time. Switzerland was our one of our favorite places, especially in the winter and we have been able to visit Europe several times after our return home. Now as I recall these memories, they have taken on a whole new spiritual dimension thanks to your great insight and willingness to share. I am so grateful for this enlightenment spiritward.

  9. You are so welcome. Blogging while on vacation put a little extra demand on my time while traveling with the family, but it sure helped make the trip all that more fun. It keeps my thought active during the day looking for spiritual lessons to learn and share. I find vacations much more inspiring and beneficial when I’m growing spiritually during the time, rather than falling into a “do nothing” mode of being as leisurely as possible. It might work for some people, but not for me.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. My daughter and I were in Lucerne a couple of years ago. That bridge is quite lovely. We also took a gondola where she saw her first snow ever — and made snow angels. We had a lovely fondue dinner on one of the boats anchored in the harbor that offered dinner.

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